Updated: Saturday, 13 Dec 2008, 12:14 AM MST
Published : Saturday, 13 Dec 2008, 12:12 AM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Postal officials shifted from denial to apology Friday as KRQE News 13 continued its series of reports on a growing backlog of undelivered mail in Albuquerque.
Service Manager Matt Lopez now concedes the post office is having delivery problems after all. He told News 13 that last month the service cut staff by 5 percent which had the remaining carriers adding new stops without overtime.
"We don't get it always exactly right," Lopez said. "I would apologize."
At northeast Albuquerque's Steve Schiff Post Office, carriers told News 13 letters and packages have been piling up for weeks.
"We are trying to clean up the mess the postmaster ... has created," one carrier wrote in an e-mail after News 13 began its reporting. "Since the story broke, all hell broke loose"
The service added staff and overtime promising to clear up the backlog.
News 13 wanted to go behind the wall at Schiff station to see the stacks of mail and parcels, and see just how much work postal workers have ahead of them.
At first Lopez said, "No."
"I will consider that," he said. "I will let you know once I make a few phone calls, and we'll definitely see.
"There's nothing to hide there. I can assure you of that."
Still they're not showing whatever it is they're not hiding, so News 13 can't share those conditions with the public.
The post office refused to let News 13 in so the public could see the processing area for ourselves.
Still Lopez says he wants to hear from customers like Judy Tobyas whose gifts sat in a local warehouse for 12 days.
"It's very disappointing that that occurred," Lopez said.
And there may be partial refunds for business people like designer Moses Zabec whose flyers for a November pre-Christmas sale arrived too late.
Lopez promised a combination of overtime and extra staff at the Schiff station and any other problem areas until carriers get more efficient in their new routes.
News 13 asked people to share their experiences with mail delivery, and some did have good things to say. However many more had complaints.
Postal customers with problems can call a toll-free hotline at 1-800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777).
And if your problems don't clear up or if you have new difficulties, let News 13 know through an online News Tips and Feedback form.